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YIP Parsha Project Parshat Vayeishev

11/21/2013 10:23:20 PM


YIP Parsha Project

Vayeishev                                                          Franki, Kayla, Jaden & Jonah Lieb


In Parshat Vayeishev, Yaakov gave his favorite son, Yosef,  a beautiful, striped coat.  Yosef’s brothers got jealous and came up with the idea to throw him into a pit.  Reuven did not want to get blamed for this incident because he was the oldest, so he had in mind that he would come back later and take him out.  Reuven was not able to get Yosef from the pit, Rashi explains, because he was busy saying teshuva for touching his father’s possessions in his tent.  The other brothers agreed to sell Yosef to the Ishmaelites.  After the brothers dipped Yosef’s coat in animal blood and showed it to Yaakov, he mourned for 22 years until he was reunited with his son.  Rashi explains that Yaakov did not receive the gift of time, which is associated with the easing of pain after the loss of  a loved one.  This is because Yosef was not actually dead, but very much alive in Egypt.

In the parsha of Vayeishev we see how Hashem manipulates all events, people and governments, so that his master plan will be brought about, even though we have free will.  This is the parsha of Divine Providence.  Hashem needed to make sure that Yaakov's children would make their brother a slave so that the Jews would go to Egypt so that they would be able to come out from there, wander in the desert, and eventually be able to enter Eretz Yisrael.

Yaakov was a tzaddik, but he made a mistake with his children by favoring Yosef, and giving him the striped wool coat. One of the main rules of parenting is not to favor one child over another.  He had singled out Yosef over all of his brothers, and therefore the unfortunate events occurred. Rashi said that this had to happen in order for the Jews to eventually end up enslaved in Egypt, and this is the way that Hashem makes his plan for all of the Jews; so that things can work out the way that he wants them to.  Hashem had to cause him and his family to go down to Egypt, through many unusual happenings in this parsha, and the two that follow. Yaakov, Yosef,  and his brothers  were not making the decisions themselves and Rabbi Frand says  that ”They were merely puppets on the stage of Divine Providence with Hashem serving as the Puppeteer,  pulling the strings that would make history play itself out.”

We learn in this parsha that Hashem takes care of our universe down to the smallest details. Every day we see many current events, in society and in the minute details of our own lives that are incomprehensible and confusing, and sometimes difficult to understand. These are all part of Hashem’s plan for the world.  Through our unconditional faith, we have to believe that everything is beshert, meant to be, and that we are part of something bigger than what we can imagine and understand at the time.

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